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Losing Frequencies #4: Reflections on CKLN 88.1FM and Campus/Community Radio in Canada

An Interview with former news and arab programmer, Mostafa Henaway


Losing Frequencies #4: Reflections on CKLN 88.1FM and Campus/Community Radio in Canada

Former programmes from CKLN can be found around Canada. We turn to Montreal's Mostafa Henaway, long time CKLN news and Arab programming producer, gives reflections on CKLN's history, it's
impact on Toronto community access, independent media and more.


CKUT 90.3FM hosted a special broadcast series: Losing Frequencies: the CRTC Turns the Dial on CKLN 88.1FM.

In early September, the Toronto frequency of 88.1FM was awarded to a commercial, rock station, Rock 95. This frequency has a lot of history. It was the former home of CKLN, Ryerson campus and Toronto community station. CKLN was known for giving air space to underrepresented communities, music and culture. It packed the airwaves with top-notch social justice programming and good beats, different from the top 40 played on most other stations. In January of 2011 CKLN lost their license. 

There was one dissenting opinion amongst the CRTC Commissioners who made the decision. Louise Poirier's dissent to this decision stating it was "premature, disproportionate and inequitable". Poirier also states that as far as she can tell "the Commission has never revoked a license without first issuing a mandatory order or reducing the license term."

More than 850 people from Toronto and across Canada wrote letters of support for Radio Ryerson to preserve a place for community-access programming on the dial. Last year the NCRA also ran a national campaign called “Reclaim your Radio” in support of Radio Ryerson and reserving frequencies for community radio.

A week ago the CRTC licenced a commercial radio station for the last viable frequency in Toronto and denied the application of Radio Ryerson, making one less space available for community access to public airwaves.

Competing with dozens of prospective commercial radio stations, a group of Ryerson University students, faculty and community supporters proposed a station where the city and its many communities could speak for themselves and to their neighbours, sharing stories and music under-represented in other media.

CKUT remembers CKLN, talks about the loss of a community/campus station to Toronto, speaks with counter applications for 88.1FM from Ryerson, looks at where the former CKLN programmers are now and discusses new conservative changes at the CRTC with and the CRTC themselves.
For other reports in the series:
Follow us on twitter @CKUT and @CKUTNews. For more information, go to

Aired on: Wednesday's Morning After, September 18th, 7-9h.

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CKUT News (CKUT Community News 90.3FM)
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